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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

U.S. Citizen Arraigned on Charges of International Sex Tourism

WASHINGTON, Richard David Mitchell was arraigned yesterday on sex tourism charges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, after being deported from Cambodia, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and U.S. Attorney
for the District of Hawaii Edward H. Kubo, Jr.

Mitchell, 61, a U.S. citizen and resident of Hawaii, was charged in a criminal
complaint filed on Aug. 26, 2009, in U.S. District Court for the District of
Hawaii with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place. According
to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, witnesses reported seeing
Mitchell engaging in sex acts with a female child on the curbside of a street
in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in August 2008. Mitchell was initially arrested in
August 2008 by the Cambodian National Police on local charges related to the
same incident.

Mitchell returned to Hawaii on Sept. 5, 2009, following his removal from
Cambodia. Upon his arrival at Honolulu International Airport, he was taken
into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. At
yesterday's hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ordered Mitchell held
without bond pending a detention hearing.

Mitchell is the fourth American arrested by ICE in the past two weeks for
sexually exploiting minors in Cambodia. On Aug. 31, 2009, three Americans
were taken into custody by ICE at Los Angeles International Airport following
their removal from Cambodia on sex tourism charges. The four cases are the
result of unprecedented cooperation among U.S. authorities, the Cambodian
government and non-governmental organizations to target American sex tourists
in Cambodia.

Mitchell faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if
convicted of the charges.

Charges in a criminal complaint are merely accusations, and a defendant is
presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Olson of the U.S.
Attorney's Office for the District of Hawaii and Trial Attorney Anitha Ibrahim
of the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. The case
was investigated by ICE.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, +1-202-514-2007, TDD
+1-202-514-1888

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